Diagnosing BPH - What to expect

Your GP may do a number of things to find out the cause of your urinary problems.

For example, your doctor will need to know the details of your symptoms, and your full medical history.

A digital rectal examination is the quickest and simplest way to check the size, shape and consistency of the prostate gland.


Some men are worried about having a rectal examination, but it's a routine and straightforward procedure and very familiar to your doctor.

You may need blood and urine tests to check for other causes of your urinary problems.

BPH can increase levels of PSA in the blood. PSA - prostate specific antigen - is a naturally-occurring protein made by the prostate. The larger the prostate, the more PSA is present, so BPH can also raise PSA levels to two or three times higher than normal.

PSA levels can be affected by other factors including age, infection and some medications, and also by prostate cancer. Most men with high PSA levels will not have prostate cancer, but your doctor will suggest some further tests to confirm this.

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References

  1. Prostate Enlargement: A guide to urinary symptoms in men. Andrology Australia, 4th edition, 2013
  2. Marberger. M. Medical management of lower urinary tract symptoms in men with benign prostatic enlargement. Advances in Therapeutics. 2013; 30 309-319